Mountain Climbing with Children's Writers

To see us huddled around our table in a tiny room at the library, you’d never guess  we are climbing Mount Everest. The route from the conception of an idea to a fully mature book is an uphill battle fraught with slippery slopes and chasms, discouragement and frustration. It’s difficult to make it to the summit, especially alone. Vast Imaginations Children’s Writers Group exists to give support to one another in our climb. Whether we write picture books for toddlers or novels for teens, we gather  to learn and grow as authors and to encourage each other’s creativity.

Learn           We seek wisdom from those who’ve hiked the trail before us. We work through books as we strive to become better writers. We share what we’ve learned as individuals, from writing the rough draft to polishing the final draft to supporting each other as we venture into the vast, often confusing, and ever-changing world of publishing.

Grow             We share our written work with the group, seeking to improve our manuscripts, a process that is sometimes painful, but more often liberating. On a climb this steep we find that some items we packed for the journey only weigh us down. The trail is littered with words, phrases, and chapters that were too heavy to haul to the top. We drop them and don’t look back.

Create            We stimulate our creativity through free writing exercises which force us out of ruts and push us to think about ordinary things in new and unusual ways. And now, with the creation of this blog, we invite you to join us on our journey as we share all we have learned and are still learning.

Melinda Friesen authored Enslavement, a young adult dystopian novel, released by Rebelight Publishing. When she’s not writing, Melinda works as marketing director and acquisitions editor at Rebelight Publishing Inc.

Penny Thoughts on My E-Reader

A typical bedtime–> James comes to bed, pries my Kobo from my fingers and places it on my nightstand. Then presses my hands down from their clenched position and adjusts my blankets… I’m sleeping. [James’ insert: She means “snoring”!]

This morning, I woke up to thoughts about my e-reader. I love it. I love that I can purchase books at a reduced price. It’s convenient to have my books in one place. When I read, I can get comfy and cozy with my plush moss green blanket, and never and have to turn my wrist to read the other side of the page.

Of course, there are downfalls of an e-reader.

I read the funniest line ever in Allan Stratton’s Borderline. I wanted to read it to James, however, it was during my morning reading and he was the one sleeping [James’ insert: Note – I don’t snore!] (Yes, he does!) Anyway, I read all morning. When he woke up, I spent ten minutes paging back…

and back

and back…

until I found the line I wanted to share with him. In a paper book, this would have been much faster, flip back and then scan the few pages till I found the line. I figure two minutes tops. There are eight minutes of my life I’ll never get back, never mind the additional five minutes of paging forward to where I’d left off reading.

I’d gladly quote the line for you’re here, however, that would mean an additional several minutes to find it again… trust me – it was about farting and a character’s butt cheeks getting windburn, it was hilarious!

So, downfall one: not so easy to flip through.

Downfall two: I’m a visual reader. The closer I get to the end of the book the more time I’ll find to sit down to read it (other than my habitual before and after sleeping) [snoring!] (hush now, they get it!). With my Kobo, I can’t get a sense of how long the book is before I start reading, and don’t have the visual, ‘oh, I’m half way now’. I miss this about a paper book.

And my third woe is I can’t pass along what I’ve read to others. (Let’s be clear, I mean other’s in my home. I’m rather hoard-ish about my books.) I read many of the same YA novels that my son reads. And I often recommend books to him. He doesn’t have an e-reader right now so I find I read the e-reader version and then buy the paper version. The thought of just buying him his own e-reader has crossed my mind…

Perhaps my e-readers woes are trivial and certainly not big enough contenders to revert me to reading paper books all the time. However, I like to think I’ve saved a few trees…

Do you have pros and cons about your e-reader?

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(¸.·´ (¸.·’* Suzanne Costigan writes middle grade and YA novels. She lives in Winnipeg, Canada with James, her children, three dogs and four cats.

Suzanne’s first novel, Empty Cup, is an edgy contemporary young adult story about a seventeen year old girl who lives through life’s ultimate betrayal. Suzanne lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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